Fosse Locks

Well we ended up spending four days, moored in the pound between Locks 29 and 30 on the Hatton flight. This allowed the crew to jump ship, and go home over the bank holiday weekend, whilst me and four legs did some maintenance tasks. The pound we were in, whilst the longest on the flight, must also have been the leakiest. Several times a day, the water level would drop significantly exposing the propeller, and the water coming down the flight, was unable to keep pace with the water leaking out. Fortunately we must have been directly over a large area of silt, because even when the water dropped, the boat did not tilt much as it rested on the bottom.

The crew returned yesterday, so this morning we headed off down the flight. We also had another reason for moving. Last night the furry crew, inadvertently stepped on his ball and hurt himself. That will teach him to leave his toys laying about. We thought initially he had twisted something, but what he had actually done, was to rip out part of his claw, ouch. We had bandaged it up and stuck a boot on it, but we needed to get him to a vet, so our wallet could be emptied.

We descended the remaining four Locks of Hatton, then the two Cape Locks. A short distance further on, we stopped at Emscote. First a visit to the vets, who were very friendly. Four legs had his toe frozen with some spray, and then the partially removed claw, was fully removed with a quick tug, ouch again. So clawless, with some antiseptic solution, manuka honey to aid healing, antibiotics to prevent an infection building, and pain killers we were done. If only humans could receive such speedy and detailed treatment. Now he has to keep it covered when out and about, so he has borrowed a blue sock.

The wounded soldier, with blue sock

Back at the boat we had lunch, then the other crew went to the nearby Tesco supermarket, and replenished supplies. We now had two more Locks and three miles to go, to reach our intended destination. On the way through Royal Leamington Spa before, I mentioned that the graffiti was of an altogether different quality. This time I managed to photograph some.

Graffiti art in Royal Leamington Spa

Soon we had left the urban sprawl behind, and entered open countryside once more. We found our mooring spot above Fosse Lock No. 22 and secured the boat.

Mooring Fosse Locks

On our arrival, the water level in the pound was a little low, and we did wonder if this would be a problem. However on further inspection of our surrounds, we noticed that back pumps were active beneath the bywash. This pumps water back from the lower pound, and should therefore maintain a decent level.

Back pumps at work

Whilst this mooring is nice and quiet, and the sort of place we could easily stay a few days, we are in need of services in the next few days, so we will need to move on.

Totals 7 Miles 8 Locks

Running total 152 Miles 212 Locks 9 Tunnels

Warwick (Saltisford Arm)

Today our destination was Warwick. The weather reports were forecasting showers later in the day, so by 9am we were underway. We navigated through the final Fosse Lock, and then shortly after, Radford Bottom Lock. We had a brief period of cruising in the countryside, then we were into the outskirts of Royal Leamington Spa. You could tell we were moving from a rural, to a more urban environment, due to the increase in graffiti. However on closer inspection, the graffiti on the run into Leamington Spa, was of an altogether better class than your usual graffiti. It was in fact, some very clever and detailed art work. First we passed through an area of light industry, then housing and finally a retail area. Soon we were crossing an aquaduct over the river Avon, leaving Leamington Spa behind, and entering Warwick. The river Avon is not navigable at this point, but we intend to join it, in Stratford upon Avon in a few weeks. At the hire boat base for Kate Boats, next to bridge 49, we stopped for a pumpout. We could have done with a top up of diesel, but they don’t sell it to the public, despite what the Nicholson’s guide book says, due to the paperwork that needs completing. We now had two more locks to complete, and as a indication of things to come, the direction of travel has changed. Instead of descending, we are now ascending.

Navigating through Cape Locks

Above the top lock, we passed by the Cape of Good Hope, a canalside pub, with a good reputation for its food and ales. I’m sure we will visit it for ourselves, during our stay in Warwick. A few hundred yards further on, we arrived at the junction with the Saltisford Arm. A sharp left turn into the arm, and we manoeuvred to the winding hole. It was lunchtime and no one was around to direct us, so we reversed a bit further along the arm and squeezed our 60 foot boat, into a 61 foot gap.

Moored in the Saltisford Arm, Warwick

After lunch we checked in, and fortunately did not have to move. There are a full range of facilities here, including an electric point, so now we are plugged into the mains once again, for a few days at least. Unfortunately the trees to the left in the photo above, block the signal to the satellite dish. We do however have a strong 4G signal, so TV will be streamed for the next few days. Thank goodness for the unlimited data usage on our mobile phones.

Totals 6 Miles 4 Locks

Running total 29 Miles 38 Locks 2 Tunnels

Fosse Locks

During our stay in Long Itchington, we managed to visit two pubs, and had a look at a third. The two we visited were the Two Boats Inn, where on Saturday I enjoyed a steak and ale pie, whilst the furry crew looked on licking his lips. Then on Sunday, we opted for The Cuttle Inn, where we had a very enjoyable three course roast dinner, which included a tasty nut roast for the first mate. This morning, we set off for the water and rubbish disposal point about half a mile away. Once the tank had been replenished, we continued cruising towards Bascote Locks. There are four Locks in the flight, two of which form a staircase. A boat had passed us whilst we were filling with water, but it was well ahead by now, so once again we were alone. The weather was warm in the sunshine, and the wind whilst a bit more blustery, has changed direction and is no longer cold. We had a couple of Locks in open country to navigate, before arriving at the Fosse Locks flight. On approach and before the first Lock came into view, there was a sign on the towpath warning of dredging ahead, and a possible 30 minute delay. Then we saw the dredgers at work.

Dredgers at work by Fosse Locks

In fact we were not really delayed at all. The workers moved their equipment quickly to one side, and then proceeded to help work us through the Lock. Exiting the Lock we then passed beneath the Fosse Way, a Roman road that originally linked Exeter with Lincoln. It was from this point on we were looking for a mooring spot. It came into view just above the next Lock.

Mooring at Fosse Locks No.22

We are fairly sure we are not in anyone’s way here. The Lock landing is to the right of the picture, and I dare say there would even be room ahead of us to wind a boat if someone was so minded. We now have only six miles and three locks to go before we arrive in Warwick.

Totals 3 Miles 8 Locks

Running total 23 Miles 34 Locks 2 Tunnels